According to AFP, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram splinter group, killed at least 44 soldiers in attacks on three military bases at the weekend.
It stated that out of the 44 soldiers, no fewer than 43 were killed on Sunday in Metele, a remote village near the Nigerian border with Niger, according to a military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The military officer stated, “Our troops were completely routed and the terrorists captured the base after heavy fighting,” adding that the base commander and three officers were among the dead.
A pro-government militiaman said the sect members arrived in about 20 trucks, and army air support did not arrive until after they had “invaded the base and looted the weapons”.
The same day, the terrorists also carried out a pre-dawn attack on a base in the town of Gajiram, some 80km north of the Borno State capital, Maiduguri. Fighting lasted several hours, local residents told AFP.
The report stated that a soldier was killed in an attack on Saturday on a base in Mainok, also in Borno State, the cradle of the Boko Haram movement, security sources said.
AFP reported that SWAP accepted responsibility for the attacks in Metele and Mainok, claiming to have killed at least 42 soldiers in addition to carting four tanks and other vehicles away, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group.
It also reported that on Monday, there were attacks on villages by the sect. The attacks were carried out to pillage food and abduct civilians used as fighters or forced to marry the terrorists.
Residents told AFP on Tuesday that armed with guns and machetes, the hoodlums killed nine farmers and abducted 12 others in the Mammanti village in Borno State.
Despite the government’s insistence that Boko Haram was near defeat, the group had recently carried out major attacks on military and civilian targets.